How to update your Fairphone 2 to the latest software


Fairphone OS version 21.03.0 is the most recent software version for your Fairphone 2. Released in April 2021, it is based on Android 9.


If you are still running Android 7.1 on your Fairphone 2, then Fairphone OS version 19.11.2 is the last version, released in December 2019. It is based on Android 7.1. We strongly recommend to upgrade your Fairphone 2 to Android 9.

View the full list of improvements and fixes in:

We strongly recommend running your Fairphone 2 with the latest software update of Android 9. These updates include security fixes and improvements.

Your Fairphone 2 will check daily for updates when you connect to a Wi-Fi / Mobile data network. If you do not see a notification about the new update, you can see if it is available with the Fairphone Updater app.

Your processor is working hard when it updates. It is normal that it becomes hot during the procedure. 

If you suspect you have encountered a possible bug, please consult our bugtracker to see if your issue is mentioned there and if so, has a fix or workaround. This way we can inform you on the progress of the specific bug you encounter. 

Check your version

To view which version your phone is running:

  1. Open the All Apps overview
  2. Scroll to the Fairphone Updater app
  3. Open the app. It states: Your current operating system version - Fairphone OS [version_number]. It should also state: Your operating system is up-to-date. If not, it will show that a more recent software version is available. Keep reading and follow the next steps.

Update your Fairphone 2

Before starting, in order to have a smooth update:

1. Create a backup

Start by making sure all of your data is safe and make a backup using Google Mobile Services.

2. Make sure your device is fully charged

After the back-up is done, plug in your Fairphone 2 to make sure it’s fully charged.

3. Use a stable Wi-Fi connection

Make sure your WiFi connection is stable. If you’re not connected, turn on your WiFi connection from the pulldown menu, then choose a network connection from the list.

4. Restart your phone

Reboot your phone.


Now you are ready to update your device:

  1. Open the All Apps overview
  2. Scroll to the Fairphone Updater app
  3. Open the app. It states: Your current operating system version - Fairphone OS [version_number], A more recent software version is available and shows a blue button to update.
  4. Push the update button.


The update did not work, what should I do?

I don’t see an update notification / The Fairphone Updater app does not show the update

  • Make sure that to connect to a stable Wi-Fi connection: you should be able to access the internet and the Google Play store. Once your Fairphone 2 is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will automatically check for updates. If the app is already running before the connection to the Wi-Fi network is established, the update might not be found.
  • Make sure to use the latest version of your Updater app. You can do this via the Google Play store or manually, if you are not a Google user.

Manually close the Fairphone Updater app and start it again to force the update retrieval:

  1. Start the Fairphone Updater app
  2. Access the app history with the square software button on the bottom right corner of the display
  3. Tap the close icon (X) on the right of the Updater app preview.
  4. Start the Fairphone Updater app once more.


The Fairphone Updater does not proceed with the update / The Fairphone Updater app is stuck on the “Restart” button

Reboot your device and try to install the software update again. Or install the update manually.


The device is frozen / The Fairphone 2 does not react

If you cannot reboot your device (the screen does not react anymore), manually reboot it by pressing the power button for 15 seconds or by taking the battery out. Then install the software update again. Or install the update manually.


The device is stuck in a black screen with yellow characters / The update fails and ends up in the recovery mode (TWRP)

If your device ends up in the recovery mode it shows either a black screen where there is a green robot lying on its back or it shows "Team Win Recovery Project" interface. That means an error might have occurred during the download of the update to the phone. The update process was interrupted to avoid corrupting the device.

  1. Reboot your device by pressing the power button for 15 seconds, or by taking the battery out
  2. Install the software update again.

If the issue continues, see if there are no pending updates in the Google Play Store.

  1. Open the Play Store app
  2. Swipe from the left of the screen to reach the menu
  3. Go to My apps & games and tap the Update all button. Or install the update manually.


The Fairphone 2 screen stays black / The device does not boot anymore

  1. Make sure the battery of the device is not (completely) empty: use the correct charger to charge it.
  2. Turn off the phone. If it does not respond, go to step 3.
  3. Take the battery out 
  4. Put the battery back into the device
  5. Plug the charger in and wait a few seconds for the device to boot in charging mode (when the charging animation is displayed). The charging light should appear red or orange, blinking if the battery was depleted or steady if the device is charging. Wait for the green light, which indicates a fully charged battery. If the device does not charge at all, contact our support team.


The Fairphone 2 is in a boot-loop / The device continuously restarts

Try to reset the device to factory settings.

If the issues continues, please contact our support team.

If you want to continue troubleshooting yourself, consult the instructions to manually (re-)install the Fairphone 2 OS in our related support article.


The Fairphone 2 has issues since the last update

Go to the public bug tracker for Android 7 on the Fairphone 2. There, you can see if the issue is mentioned and has a workaround you can use.